Young Carers Awareness Day 2018 – Advice for Young Adult Carers about university

Enrolling on a course at university is an exciting time for new students, and can be a really positive step towards kick-starting your future. If you are a Young Adult Carer coming to university, you might have some additional queries and concerns before starting your course, or even deciding to apply. The good news is that there’s lots of help and advice out there to help you feel well supported during your studies. Universities want to make sure that Young Adult Carers get the best university experience possible!

young adult carers

The Carers Trust is an organisation which works with lots of universities and colleges to make sure they’re giving the best support to Young Carers.

Still deciding, or too young to apply just yet?

If you’re still deciding if university is right for you, or you’re not quite ready to apply, you can still benefit from the range of information and advice available. Getting in touch with universities that you’re interested in can be a great way to access this, as staff there will be happy to arrange for you to go along for a visit, or just to provide you with some extra information over the phone or by email. Visiting a university is one of the best ways to explore what’s going on there and if that particular place is right for you, and can also provide opportunities to meet staff and students and ask any particular questions you might have.

Each university will have a team or member of staff who looks after student support and wellbeing. Staff in these roles will be able to offer excellent information about the support available to Young Adult Carers studying at university, and will be happy to talk to you even before you’ve decided to apply.

Ready to enrol?

Great! If you need or want to access any additional support during your time at university, the best place to start is getting in touch with your institution’s student support team.They’ll understand that not everybody who has caring responsibilities will want extra support, but will always be there if you need them. Types of support available include:

  • Making you aware of who to contact (and how) if you need any help and advice
  • Support with accommodation options and making choices about where to live
  • Financial support and information about how to access any additional funding that may be available (such as bursaries and scholarships, which do not need to be paid back)
  • Offering support with academic issues, including communicating with your department on your behalf if you wish
  • Contact information for Young Carers’ student societies, so you can meet other students with caring responsibilities
  • Information about other organisations which may be of use to you
  • Somebody to talk to if you need it

Your university will know that everybody is different and has different needs, and will work out a way to support you in a way which works for you. It’s up to you if you want to access extra support or not, exactly what you want to access, and you are never under an obligation to do so.

Blog post by Amber Coleman, Shaping Futures Project Officer with responsibility for work with Young Adult Carers. If you’d like to ask her any questions about anything within this post, please visit our Contact Us page. 

Some of the Shaping Futures partner institutions have dedicated resources with information for Young Adult Carers on their websites:

*LIPA students are able to access student support at LJMU. For more information click here.